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A Guide to the Lawsuit Challenging CMS’s Approval of the Kentucky HEALTH Medicaid Waiver

On January 11, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a State Medicaid Director letter announcing a new policy that, for the 1st time, allows states to condition Medicaid on participation in a work or “community engagement” program. The next day, CMS approved a new Medicaid waiver in Kentucky. The waiver includes a program called Kentucky HEALTH, which encompasses a work requirement as well as coverage lockouts of up to 6 months for failure to pay monthly premiums (up to 4% of income), timely renew eligibility, or timely report a change in circumstances, among other provisions. Kentucky HEALTH applies to most nonelderly adults, including low-income parents and expansion adults. The state plans to implement Kentucky HEALTH by July, 2018. On January 24, 2018, 15 Kentucky Medicaid enrollees filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging CMS’s authority to issue the work requirement policy and approve the Kentucky waiver. This issue brief answers 5 key questions about the case.

Why Medicaid Work Requirements Aren’t the Same as Welfare Reform

Drawing on his experience in state welfare reform, Drew Altman, in his Axios column, discusses how new state Medicaid work requirements differ fundamentally from welfare reform, which was built on the idea of a “reciprocal obligation” between both beneficiaries and government to do more.  

What Are States Proposing for Work Requirements in Medicaid?

With the approval of Kentucky’s Medicaid expansion waiver, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has for the first time granted a state permission to make Medicaid eligibility conditional on meeting a work requirement. Nine other states have waivers pending at CMS that would impose work requirements, including Arizona,…

New KFF Resource Tracks Developments in States’ Section 1115 Medicaid Waivers

A new resource from the Kaiser Family Foundation enables users to keep abreast of Section 1115 Medicaid waivers that are pending or have been approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. KFF’s Medicaid waiver tracker includes interactive maps that allow users to view states’ approved and pending waivers…

Medicaid Enrollees and Work Requirements: Lessons From the TANF Experience

This issue brief considers the implications of conditioning Medicaid eligibility on satisfying a work requirement, drawing on state experience with TANF enrollees subject to a work requirement over the past two decades and data about work and the role of health coverage among Medicaid enrollees today.

Don’t Expect Medicaid Work Requirements to Make a Big Difference

Under the Trump Administration, some Republican governors may look to move their Medicaid programs in a more conservative direction. In his latest column for Axios, Drew Altman discusses the arguments about Medicaid “work requirements” and why few people are likely to be affected by them in practice.

Brief Examines State Requests to Impose Work Requirements in Medicaid

The proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA) includes a state option to make Medicaid eligibility for nondisabled, nonelderly, non-pregnant adults conditional upon satisfaction of a work requirement. Although the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services denied all state Section 1115 waiver requests to institute such work requirements under the Obama…

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.